News Column

European Stocks Flat As BoE Minutes Rate Hike Coming

June 18, 2014

BRUSSELS (Alliance News) - European stocks were narrowly mixed on Wednesday as markets paused for the latest interest rate announcement from the US Federal Reserve.

The Bank of England was also in focus today amid the release of minutes from their monetary policy meeting held on June 4 and 5. All nine members of the Monetary Policy Committee voted to retain the record low 0.50% interest rate and quantitative easing at 375 billion pounds.

However, the minutes suggest a rate increase is now more likely by the end of the year.

The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks added 0.17, but remains down fractionally from a week ago.

The German DAX rose 0.1%, the UK'sFTSE 100 gained 0.12%. The French CAC eased 0.13%, and Switzerland's SMI lost 0.12%.

In London, Royal Dutch Shell rose 1.7%, after its unit completed sale of 78.27 million shares In Woodside Petroleum.

Daily Mail and General Trust PLC climbed 3% as its Zoopla Property Group PLC unit rose on its stock-market debut.

Mining company Boliden AB gained 3.6% after an upgrade from Nordea Bank.

Residential property developer Berkeley Group fell 1%, after issuing a cautious outlook.

Hennes and Mauritz, which reported quarterly results eased 0.45% in Stockholm.

Novartis edged down 0.2% in Zurich. The Swiss drugmaker expects the new company, which emerged after a portfolio review, to be more profitable.

BMW shares rose 0.6% after the car maker said it plans to cut costs by 3 billion euros to 4 billion euros a year until 2020.

Rheinmetall AG advanced 1.5%. The German defense company will sign a USD3.7 billion tank deal with Algeria, Handelsblatt reported.

The Eurozone construction sector recovered in April after contracting in March, Eurostat reported. Construction output rose 0.8% in April from March when it was down 0.3%, driven by rise in building output.

The Conference Board leading economic index for France, a measure of future economic situation, remained unchanged in April, following an increase in the previous month.

Elsewhere, the Fed is scheduled to announce its monetary policy decision at 2 pm ET. The central bank is widely expected to hold interest rates unchanged, while it is expected to continue trimming the size of its asset purchase program by another USD10 billion.

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Source: Alliance News